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The hidden benefits of outdoor learning (even in November)

Next week is Outdoor Classroom Day (Nov 2nd)! With the changing weather, spending more time outdoors might be the last thing on your mind. But even if the climate isn’t compelling you right now, the benefits of outdoor learning, at any time of the year, remain vital. How can you build it into your school’s rhythm?

The perks of outdoor learning

Outdoor Classroom Day (Nov 2nd) is a great opportunity to try some outdoor learning, even if it means you’ll need your coats on. Any why leave it at one day, why not work regular outdoor time into the classroom rhythm? Here are some of the key benefits that it could bring for your students.

1. Boosted wellbeing and attainment

Getting outdoors has well-known benefits for physical and mental health. Students who learn in outdoor classrooms are more likely to get regular exercise, which can lead to improved heart health, stronger bones and muscles, and lower stress levels. The fresh air and sunshine can boost creativity and positive thinking, helping kids to be engaged, productive, and happy in their learning environments. All this can only help their chances of academic achievement.

2. Breadth of learning

Learning outdoors opens up the natural world as an exciting avenue for education. Not everything has to be in books and on screens, lessons learned outdoors can be more impressive and memorable because they escape the familiar setting. Sports/PE tends to get people outdoors, but what about other subjects? For example:

  • Science: learn about plants and animals in their natural habitat, study the weather and its effects, try messy or large-scale experiments with the freedom of being outside.

  • Maths: measure and compare objects in nature, learn about geometry through shapes found in nature, and solve mathematical problems in real-world contexts.

  • Arts: write stories and poems about experiences in nature, read books about nature, and practice speaking and listening skills in an informal setting.

3. Connecting with nature and with others

It’s normal for human beings to want to be in and around nature, breathing its fresh air and feeling its calming effects. It can help students connect with themselves and improve relationships with peers. Getting outside could also be a helpful, practical context for discussing climate change and thinking about sustainability. Perhaps there’s space for learning about plants and animals and how to care for those - you might have space for some animals or plants on site, or you make a visit to a nearby outdoors centre that can provide that.

You can find out more about Outdoor Classroom Day here.

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Classrooms that embrace the outdoors

Vertis’ modular classrooms are designed to maximise natural light and the visibility of natural surroundings. Our large, flexible bifold doors mean you can effectively open up a wall to the natural world, enabling students to work both outdoors and indoors, enjoying the benefits of both settings.

Weatherfield Academy is a special school where nature and outdoor learning play an important role. You can read about their experience of building and enjoying multiple Vertis buildings here.

If you’re thinking about a new building for your school, we’d love to talk. We’re currently offering a free consultation to anyone who wants help thinking about a current or future building project – no strings attached. Maybe you don’t know what you need, and you’d like some help generating ideas. We love meeting with schools to dream about making education better. Just get in touch here if you’re interested in a free consultation (tell us in the form that’s what you’re looking for). If you do, we'll be in touch and we can find a time that works for you.